Oak Ridge

Overview

Introduction

Oak Ridge, Tennessee, is the mysterious city the federal government built as part of the Manhattan Project, which produced the atomic bomb in the early 1940s. The once-top-secret Graphite Nuclear Reactor, the world's first, is now a national landmark and can be visited. (Be sure to visit the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge website for the latest information and requirements for visiting; only those with U.S. citizenship are allowed to take the behind-the-scenes tour. http://www.ornl.gov.)

Take time to see the American Museum of Science and Energy, which showcases past energy developments and speculates on the future. For a glimpse of what it was like to live in a place that did not officially exist, don't miss the museum's Oak Ridge Story exhibit. For example, truck drivers had trouble delivering packages to Oak Ridge because it wasn't on any road maps.

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